Glambook’s $2.5 million seed deck – TechCrunch

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There are about 250000 hair and beauty professionals working across the UK, and Glambook wants to be the sharing economy platform that takes care of them.

The company recently raised $2.5 million at a $12 million valuation, and I managed to convince them to let me share their pitch deck with you to see how the company told their story to their investors.


We’re looking for more unique pitch decks to take apart, so if you’d like to submit yours, here’s how you can do so.


Slides in this deck

Glambook increased their investment with a 19-slide deck, and they agreed to share it with us in full:

  1. cover slide
  2. problem slide
  3. “Not Resolved for a Reason” – Opportunity Slide
  4. Solutions Slide
  5. Slide Value Proposition
  6. “People love our product” – product validation slide
  7. Market slide
  8. Addressable Market Slide
  9. Traction slide
  10. “Why now” – timing slide
  11. Positioning slide
  12. Business model slide
  13. Go-to-market slide
  14. Roadmap Slide
  15. Social Impact Slide
  16. Team slide
  17. “This is our story” – the “why us” slide
  18. Summary slide
  19. Contact slide

three things to love

For a start-up company, Glambook has a lot to offer – it’s seeing significant traction and operating in an interesting market. The biggest challenge the company has to overcome is convincing investors that this is a market that is, indeed, crying out for a technological metamorphosis. And it does a damn good job.

Here are three things that work particularly well:

Tractiooooooooooooo

[Slide 9] Traction: if you have it, you laugh all the way to the bank. Image credits: Glambook

Your team is terrible? Is your product waste? Is your niche? I’m not saying any of these things don’t apply to Glambook, but in general none of this matters if you have traction.

You can answer almost any question with, “This may be stupid, but look at the numbers. It works!” Really, the question is why it works and if you can make it work, even at scale.

For a relatively small round of $2.5 million, having 20,000 customers in 38 countries is impressive. (Although I also note that the most important pull metrics – How sticky is it? How many orders are facilitated? How much revenue is generated? – are missing.)

The story that Glambook sells here is that “things change, and here we are,” which is the perfect place to be a start-up startup.

More importantly, saying there are subscription sales without including monthly or yearly recurring revenue figures is not good storytelling. I’m impressed with the number of countries and the number of professionals on this slide, but I also want to know the number of customers and the value of subscriptions. Not including these numbers immediately makes me suspicious.

These are asides, however. The company displays real, measurable and important numbers. The takeaway here is that if your business has them, show them off with pride. Why? VCs invest in inherently high-risk businesses. Any traction – and any progress – goes a long way towards showing that the company is at least partially derisked.

As I mentioned, if you have traction, you do Something on the right, and Something can probably become a good business one way or another.

A rising tide

[Slide 10] A rising tide lifts any boat. Picture credits: Glambook

Glambook uses this slide to tell the story of a changing market. In 2019, 54% of hairdressing and barbering professionals were self-employed, and by 2020 that figure had risen to 60%.

I wish I had a chart going back this data further back for a longer time frame so I could see more of a trend, but there is definitely something powerful going on in this market. The story Glambook sells here is that “things change, and we’re here the way they are”, which is the perfect place for a start-up startup.

If you can incorporate macroeconomics and big societal shifts into your pitch and show how you benefit from them, you potentially have a winner.

This slide is titled “Why now”, but I think it goes hand in hand with another slide, titled “Unresolved for some reason”. More on that later, but suffice it to say that with this deck, the company is pointing out some of its biggest challenges without offering a 100% satisfying answer.

“This market is bigger than you think”

A huge market opportunity

[Slide 7] A huge opportunity. Picture credits: Glambook

Most of the time, as a VC, you’ll be introduced to companies in industries and markets you don’t know very well. I had to sit with this for a while in this case.

Beauticians, hairdressers and barbers – is this really a big enough market to build a business empire around? The UK has around 67 million people, so if these figures are correct, there are around 1,400 people per hair and beauty business. This would mean that around 4% of the UK population works as beauticians, hairdressers and barbers.

Just as verification, that seems a bit high to me, but a quick google search brings up the article that the company cites on this slide, which seems to confirm these figures. That’s exciting, not least because a few searches don’t identify a clear market leader in this area either. Could Glambook become that market leader?

The pitch here is slightly fuzzy: Glambook is a Berlin-based company that uses a lot of UK-based stats while saying it has customers in 38 countries (I’ll get to that in a bit too). The important part of this particular slide illustrates that there is a huge market ready to be disrupted.

As an investor, this is the kind of thing that makes me lean forward and pay close attention.

In the rest of this teardown, we’ll look at three things Glambook could have done better or done differently, along with its full pitch deck!

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